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NUJ in parliament

NUJ in parliament

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3 February 2016

The NUJ has an all-party parliamentary group which meets regularly while the UK parliament is sitting.

The chair is Helen Goodman, Labour, and the vice-chairs are John Nicholson, SNP, Jason McCartney, Conservative, and Lord Maclennan, Liberal Democrat.

The NUJ is not affiliated to any political party and meets politicians and peers on issues relevant to the union and the media industry.

The NUJ campaigns and communications department is responsible for working with members of the NUJ parliamentary group. To raise issues in parliament please email: campaigns@nuj.org.uk

 The NUJ also works with the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group and supports TUC parliamentary campaigns.

The NUJ takes an interest in a range of parliamentary committees, contributes to parliamentary inquiries and consultations on legislation. Details of all the latest bills and legislation are available on the www.parliament.uk website.

NUJ parliamentary campaigns: 

BBC Love it or Lose it: access the latest news about NUJ BBC campaigns.

Investigatory Powers Act: access the latest news about the NUJ campaign on surveillance.

Local News Matters: access the latest news about the NUJ LNM campaign.

International: the NUJ lobbys and campaigns on a number of international issues and fights for press freedom across the globe. Access the latest information about our international campaigns.

Access the latest news on the NUJ's work in the UK parliament. You can also read the news on the NUJ's parliamentary work in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NUJ briefings and submissions

All the unions briefings and submissions to the UK parliament are available to members on the dedicated page online. Access NUJ parliamentary submissions and briefings.

Early day motions (EDMs)

Early day motions are tabled in parliament for MPs to support.

Latest list of all EDMs.

You can ask your MP to support an EDM in parliament.

The EDMs listed below are supported by the NUJ.

You can find out what your local MP has said on NUJ related issues and you can contact your MP via the They Work For You website.

Early Day Motions supported by the NUJ

EDM 1109: LOCAL NEWS MATTERS

That this House celebrates the importance of quality local and regional news and whether provided online, by photographers, newspapers or local broadcasters; believes that access to local and regional news is essential to the quality of life, informed citizenship, and promotion of a flourishing of democracy in all our communities; recognises the challenges posed to the sustainability of local news provision; notes that a study by Press Gazette shows that over 300 local newspaper titles have closed over the past decade, with other titles reducing the frequency of publication; further notes that thousands of editorial roles have been lost, together with widespread reduction to the staffing levels associated with front­line reporters based in the community, picture desk editors and photographers; regrets the impact of moving the production of local news out of localities they serve which effects the quality of news coverage; and supports the National Union of Journalists’ Local News Matters campaign, which urges Government devolved bodies and local authorities, to take active steps to support sustainable investment in professional local and regional news provision online, in newspapers and on radio and television.

EDM 1002: PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS MAKING PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURES

That this House is gravely concerned by the provisional recommendations in the Law Commission's review of the Official Secrets Act and other legislation; notes the ability of whistleblowers to make disclosures in the public interest is vital for democracy, press freedom and the well-being of the public; is shocked by the proposal to extend the maximum criminal sentence for unlawful disclosures from two years to 14 years, and to make unlawful the mere acquisition and possession of confidential material; invites the Law Commission fully to consult with relevant bodies, and especially to consult the National Union of Journalists over a matter which will inevitably impact on legitimate media investigations and public interest journalism; welcomes the fact that the Government has put on record that it does not want to curtail freedom of speech or the legal rights of whistleblowers to make protected disclosures and has brought forward amendments to the Digital Economy Bill in this respect; and calls on the Government to rule out any such interference with essential liberties and freedoms including draconian jail sentences for journalists.

EDM 551: OUTSOURCING OF BBC RADIO PRODUCTION

That this House is concerned by the proposal relating to BBC radio in the proposed Framework Agreement requiring the Corporation to secure competition between BBC producers and external producers for at least 60 per cent of Total Relevant Broadcasting Time by 31 December 2022; notes that the BBC Trust expressed concerns about this proposal that have not been addressed; further notes that around 20 per cent of BBC radio programming is currently commissioned from external producers, this level being reached across around 20 years since the introduction of external commissioning, so the annual rate of increase under the proposal would be far higher than has ever been attempted in radio; observes that the BBC remains virtually the only buyer in the radio market, such that the amount of additional BBC radio output opened up to tendering each year under the proposal would be many times the total annual amount of output produced by all independents for other broadcasters; believes that an increase of this magnitude and rapidity threatens the viability of smaller independent radio producers and BBC in-house radio production, and risks destabilising the radio market and damaging the quality, distinctiveness and diversity of BBC radio output; is further concerned that the proposal, if implemented, would significantly increase BBC spending on administration while reducing spending on content, and would thereby represent poor value for money; and further believes that the proposal is therefore not in the best interests of the licence fee payers.

EDM 511: LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IN SOUTH LONDON

That this House is concerned about the future of local newspaper titles across South London in the Newsquest group, including the Croydon, Epsom, Sutton, Wandsworth and Wimbledon Guardians, the Richmond and Twickenham Times, the Surrey Comet and the Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Greenwich and Lewisham editions of News Shopper, as well as their associated websites; is alarmed at the announcement that Newsquest has put its entire South London newsroom on notice of redundancy, bar the managing editor and the web editor; notes that following planned cuts to staffing, just 12 reporters and four content editors will be expected to continue to produce 11 newspapers and eight associated websites, covering all features, sport and leisure, as well as news; further notes that these cuts follow shortly after the earlier announcement that none of the South London titles would continue to have professional photographers after 11 September 2016; is worried about the impact on quality of local news provision, and the effect on staff health and morale due to inadequate staffing levels and excessive workloads; and calls for Newsquest's CEO Henry Faure Walker, Editorial Development Director Toby Granville and local Managing Director Tony Portelli to enter into urgent talks and meaningful consultation with staff representatives from the National Union of Journalists to protect the future of these South London titles, and for a focused public inquiry to urgently be held into the future of local and regional news provision more generally.

EDM 474: FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA IN TURKEY

That this House is gravely concerned over reports of increasingly repressive treatment of journalists working for newspapers, websites and broadcasters in Turkey; notes that a recently published decree ordered the closure of 131 media organisations, including three news agencies, 16 television channels, 23 radio stations, 45 daily newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishing houses; further notes that, under the country's state of emergency, the authorities can hold suspects in detention without charge for 30 days, with journalists frequently detained without arrest warrants; and calls on the Government and the Council of Europe's Platform for the Protection of Journalists to raise these violations of press freedoms with the Turkish authorities.

EDM 431:  RESTRUCTURING OF BBC MONITORING SERVICES

That this House notes that the BBC’s proposal to radically restructure Monitoring services at Caversham Park, Reading, is set to result in the loss of one in three of the workforce; further notes that the Monitoring service surveys the world’s broadcast and print media, selecting and, where necessary, translating reports from 150 countries in 100 languages; notes that such information is often invaluable for Government agencies, non-governmental organisations, universities, embassies, security groups, think-tanks and international businesses; notes that since 2010 the funding for the Monitoring service was transferred from the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office to the BBC’s income from the licence fee; believes that as tensions between Russia and the West increase, and so-called ISIS spreads terror around the world, this work is of crucial importance to the nation; and therefore calls on BBC management to consult with representatives of the National Union of Journalists to minimise any redundancies and limit the damage caused to the service.

EDM 304:  JOURNALISTS AT BBC PARLIAMENT CHANNEL

That this House congratulates all those who are employed in producing content for the BBC Parliament Channel for doubling its viewing figures over recent years; appreciates the hard work that goes into providing live and recorded coverage of the parliaments and assemblies across the UK and the European Parliament, together with the production of a range of original programmes and curation of the BBC archive exploring parliament and politics; regrets that the commitment of the BBC journalists who have worked hard to achieve this success is not being properly recognised by BBC management; notes that staff with comparable editorial responsibilities on BBC News Channel or BBC World are categorised as Broadcast Journalists on Grade 7 of the staffing structure, whilst their equivalents working on BBC Parliament are counted as Broadcast Assistants on Grade 5; believes that staff at BBC Parliament deserve equal status and recognition as their counterparts producing equivalent output; and calls on BBC management to value the commitment of its staff by recognising their skills and re-grading them accordingly.

EDM 150: TRINITY MIRROR AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY

That this House deplores the announcement from Trinity Mirror that it will be scrapping eight jobs at the North Wales newspaper, the Daily Post, including its only reporter based at the National Assembly for Wales; notes that the National Assembly for Wales has responsibility for the Welsh NHS, Welsh schools and the Welsh economy and has a significant impact on the daily lives of people across the north of Wales, as well as the rest of the country; believes that effective journalism is intrinsic to democracy and is essential in challenging the powerful and holding public bodies to account; regrets that the people of North Wales will be left without a source of information as to the actions of their government; further notes the words of Thomas Jefferson, found in a letter addressed to the Welsh philosopher Richard Price in 1789, that wherever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government, that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right; and calls on Trinity Mirror to reconsider its decision to relocate the only reporter based in the Senedd and to talk to, and work with, the National Union of Journalists before any decisions are taken.

EDM: 128 FUTURE OF THE BBC NEWS CHANNEL

That this House is concerned by reports that BBC management are considering plans to close the BBC News Channel altogether, or to significantly alter its character; does not believe that the commercially-operated BBC World News TV Channel, funded through advertising, offers anything like an adequate replacement for the UK news service; notes that despite the march of online and mobile content, television remains by far the UK's main source of news; recognises that if the BBC News Channel were to disappear, Sky would be left with a domestic monopoly on continuous UK television news; hopes that BBC management avoid any merger between BBC News Channel and BBC World News, which would blur the lines between the licence fee and the pursuit of profit; and calls for any future plan for BBC News to avoid undermining the integrity and impartiality of public service broadcasting through the introduction of commercial funding arrangements.

EDM 7: RELOCATION OF THE BLACK COUNTRY BUGLE

That this House opposes the decision to move the offices of the Black Country Bugle newspaper from Dudley to Tamworth; recognises the Bugle's popularity with the million people it reaches across the Black Country; celebrates the contribution the Bugle makes in highlighting the best of the Black Country and the region's history as the birthplace of the industrial revolution; and urges Trinity Mirror to pause its plans and to consult on saving jobs and keeping the paper in the heart of the Black Country.

Last parliamentary session ending May 2016 -

EDM1310: JOB LOSSES AT GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS

That this House recognises that the Guardian Media Group's announcement of cuts to 250 jobs, including 100 editorial roles, comes as a major blow to staff and for journalism as a whole; notes that this follows job losses at The Independent following the decision to close its print titles; further notes the Guardian management has attributed the latest cuts to a volatile media environment; welcomes the company's apparent commitment to seeking voluntary redundancies and mitigation of potential job losses by finding other cost-cutting measures; believes that the company should work with the National Union of Journalists and Unite representatives to avoid compulsory redundancies; and calls for active Government intervention to protect jobs in national and local newspapers.

EDM 1187: CLOSURE OF THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER'S PRINT TITLES

That this House condemns the decision to close the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers, which diminishes media plurality and impoverishes the industry; believes that UK media will be the poorer for the loss of an important voice on the newsstands; notes that over 100 jobs could be lost owing to the closure of the print newspapers and sale to Johnston Press; regrets that the owner Evgeny Lebedev failed to consult representatives of staff, offered no opportunity to consider alternative strategies, and instead left its journalists to read about the proposed sale through other media; offers full support and solidarity to all journalists at the Independent and Independent on Sunday in the face of this summary action; and calls on the company to meet its legal and moral obligations to avoid compulsory redundancies and enable a smooth transition to those moving to the i and digital Independent.

EDM 1039: FINANCIAL TIMES PENSION SCHEME

That this House is concerned about the continued lack of adequate protections for final salary or defined benefit pension schemes where companies are taken over; notes that when Pearson Group sold the Financial Times to Nikkei, workers were told that the terms of the pension scheme would be fair and equivalent under the new ownership; further notes that for some the changes introduced to the pension scheme will mean a shortfall amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds over a 20-year retirement; calls on the new management to enter meaningful negotiations with representatives of the National Union of Journalists over alternative proposals; supports the right of workers at the Financial Times to take industrial action in the absence of any such negotiations; and further calls on the Government to commit to a thorough review of protection for the private pension arrangements of workers across the private sector.

EDM 1017: JOB LOSSES IN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

That this House is concerned by the announcement that Johnston Press, which publishes titles including the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Lancashire Evening Post, The Scotsman and Derry Journal, is to cull almost 100 editorial posts; notes that this announcement comes just days after Newsquest announced that up to 25 journalist posts are to be axed across its Scottish titles; further notes that year-on-year cuts in jobs and closure of newspaper titles have resulted in the loss of 5,000 editorial roles in local and regional press, and the closure of more than 150 newspapers since March 2011; believes that local and regional news coverage is an essential feature of civic life and a healthy democracy; and therefore calls for active government intervention to prevent the destruction of these vital community assets and to establish a short, sharp inquiry to produce a coherent strategy for defending local journalism.

EDM 954: NEWSQUEST TITLES IN GLASGOW

That this House regrets the decision of Newsquest to cut as many as 25 journalist posts at the Herald and Evening Times newspapers in Scotland, placing the titles' future at severe risk; notes that this is the fourth round of redundancies at the Glasgow newspapers in the last 14 months, and means there will now be fewer than half the journalists employed at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times compared to before Newsquest took over this historic Scottish publisher; is concerned that a further reduction in quality is inevitable as talented journalists lose their jobs and those remaining struggle with an increasing workload to gather and produce news and features that help the product; believes that pursuing unrealistic profit targets by constantly making cuts, instead of looking at innovative ways to improve the business, is not sustainable in the long term; and therefore calls on the new management team to ensure maximum consultation with the National Union of Journalists to avoid compulsory redundancies and give appropriate support to the workforce.

EDM 930: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

This House believes that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 exists to, amongst other things, help hold the Government account and improve the public's understanding of what it does; notes that a 2012 Justice Committee inquiry applauded the Act as significant enhancement of our democracy and that, in 2010, the Prime Minister expressed the intention that the Government should become the most open and transparent in the world; further notes that the existing FOI framework has led to the exposure of significant wrongdoings and information including the MPs' expenses scandal, how care home residents suffer dehydration-related deaths, police use of tasers on children, the degrading treatment of detained migrants, and how many NHS contracts are awarded to private companies; applauds the way in which the FOI Act has been used by newspapers and local and national journalists to shine a light on the workings of government and public authorities; is concerned at reports that the Government wants to water down FOI legislation with measures making it easier for authorities to refuse requests on cost grounds, introducing fees for requests and new restrictions on the release of information relating to internal Government discussions; considers that strengthening the Ministerial veto will not improve the FOI Act but will instead encourage secrecy and undermine accountability; and calls on the Government to drop its plans to amend the FOI Act on the basis that there is no value in fixing something that is not broken.

EDM 821: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN TURKEY

That this House is deeply concerned by the risks faced by those attempting to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey, including in connection with legal proceedings initiated against journalists and others accused of criticising Government officials; notes in this connection that Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2015; is alarmed that a court in Istanbul recently charged two journalists, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, from the Cumhuriyet newspaper with spying, after they published information purporting to show the Turkish intelligence agency helping to send weapons to Islamist groups in Syria; is shocked by the murder of eminent human rights lawyer Tahir Elci, caught in a gun battle between police and unidentified gunmen on 28 November 2015, after a press conference in which he had made an appeal for peace between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels; further notes that he had previously experienced intimidation and harassment and at the time of his death faced criminal charges for expressing his opinion; calls on the Turkish authorities to free Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, and to conduct a full and transparent investigation into Tahir Elci's murder; and urges the Government to raise these issues as a matter of urgency with the Turkish government, while continuing to work with Turkish authorities to address the pressing needs of Syrian refugees.

EDM 630: END IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES TARGETING JOURNALISTS

That this House notes that last year 118 media workers lost their lives, yet just one out of 10 such killings of journalists is investigated; supports the annual campaign held every November by the International Federation of Journalists to end impunity for governments and de facto authorities globally in respect of crimes targeting journalists; further notes that the 2015 campaign puts a specific emphasis on crimes against journalists in Mexico, Yemen, the Philippines and Ukraine; believes that such impunity not only endangers journalists but also imperils democracy and the public's right to know; and therefore resolves to do everything in its power to hold governments across the world accountable for bringing to justice those responsible for killing journalists.

EDM 421: JOB LOSSES AND BUSINESS STRATEGY AT MEDIA WALES

That this House notes the four proposed editorial redundancies at Media Wales and the company's intention to introduce targets for individual journalists relating to clicks on the WalesOnline website for their articles; further notes that this is the latest in a long line of redundancies and changing strategy at the company; is concerned that the company's strategy for growth is based on greatly increasing website clicks whilst at the same time reducing the number of writers which will make these targets more difficult to achieve; is further concerned that setting individual website click targets will encourage reporters to reduce the quality of their journalism; notes the very important and central role Media Wales publications and journalism play in keeping the Welsh nation informed about its democratic developments as well as all other aspects of life in Wales; and calls on Media Wales to enter into dialogue with its staff and provide detailed consultations about how the job losses will impact those journalists who remain.

EDM 263: SURVEILLANCE OF TRADE UNIONS AND THEIR MEMBERS 

That this House remains deeply concerned about the extent and conduct of undercover police surveillance and the use of covert human intelligence sources; deeply regrets the distress caused to women by undercover officers forming intimate relationships and even fathering children with them; is concerned that police surveillance extended to covert monitoring of anti-racist and family justice campaigns, together with other civil society and political groups; is shocked by the revelations of Peter Francis, former member of the Metropolitan Police Force's Special Demonstration Squad, in relation to the unit's covert state surveillance of trade unions and their members, including Unison, the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union, the National Union of Teachers and the construction workers union UCATT; commends the ongoing campaign of the National Union of Journalists over the surveillance of union members; welcomes the inquiry to be conducted by Lord Justice Pitchford into covert police surveillance; and calls on the terms of reference of the inquiry to include an investigation into the practice of covert surveillance of lawful trade union activities.

EDM 179: LOCAL NEWSPAPERS IN SOUTH LONDON

That this House believes that local newspapers play a crucial role in enhancing local democracy, such as by reporting on council meetings, holding local decision-makers to account and providing a forum for local issues; recognises that many local journalists are paid below the London Living Wage, despite the valuable work they do; is therefore concerned that Newsquest South London, a large regional publisher, is planning to cut the number of journalists and impose redundancies at local newspapers in South London, including the Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet and Richmond and Twickenham Times; notes that Newsquest has made large profits in recent years; is further concerned about the impact that these job losses could have on the quality of local journalism; regrets that many local journalists have decided to go on strike over the last fortnight; and calls on Newsquest to review urgently its plans for job losses in South London.

EDM 93 :TRINITY MIRROR JOB LOSSES

That this House expresses deep concern at the announcement by Trinity Mirror that it intends on cutting 25 Midlands jobs as part of a newsroom restructure; further expresses concern at the impact of such a development on local accountability and democracy; notes the impact this will have on content with far fewer journalists; and urges Trinity Mirror to hold talks with the National Union of Journalists.

EDM 903: YEMEN AND THE KILLING OF JOURNALIST ABDULKARIM AL-KHAIWANI

That this House condemns the killing of journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani in Yemen and calls for the relevant authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into this and other targeted assassinations; is deeply concerned at the deteriorating situation in Yemen, which has witnessed restrictions and freedom of assembly and press freedom, as well as attacks on peaceful protests and targeting of civilians by all sides to the conflict; notes that the situation is being exploited by al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, who has benefited from the unrest and polarisation in Yemen and stepped up its activities targeting Huthis; and calls on the Government and the international community to live up to commitments made at the 2014 Friends of Yemen conference, and press for respect for human rights and a political settlement that will halt the deteriorating situation.

EDM 902: CARMEN ARISTEGUI AND JOURNALISM IN MEXICO

That this House expresses its shock that Carmen Aristegui, one of Mexico's independent journalists, has been dismissed for her work in the MVS Noticias (news); notes that Ms Aristegui's four-hour daily programme is very popular and often exposes corruption and human rights abuses; further notes that the targeting of such journalists is wholly unacceptable and can only have a very negative impact on journalism and indeed on fundamental rights of free speech and freedom of expression in any democratic country, let alone one struggling to rebuild its reputation following recent negative publicity surrounding the deaths of 43 students; calls on the Government and the international community to raise their concerns about this case with the relevant authorities; congratulates Carmen Aristegui and her team for the excellent work they have done to date and over many years; and encourages them to continue with the excellent contribution they are making to an evolving democratic Mexico.

EDM 899: COVERT SURVEILLANCE OF TRADE UNIONS

That this House is deeply concerned by the revelations of Peter Francis, former member of the Metropolitan Police Force's Special Demonstrations Squad, in relation to the unit's covert state surveillance of trade unions and their members, including Unison, the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union, National Union of Teachers, and the construction workers union UCATT, together with the family of Stephen Lawrence, anti-racist groups, civil society organisations and political campaigners; welcomes the judge-led inquiry into the abuse of women by undercover police officers; calls for the remit of that inquiry to include the involvement of state agencies in the operation of blacklisting and the covert surveillance of lawful trade union activities; further welcomes the offer of Mr Francis to provide further evidence; and calls on the Home Secretary to offer whistleblowers immunity from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act in order to encourage people to come forward and disclose essential information in the public interest without fear of criminal charges being brought against them.

EDM 854: STATE OF MEDIA FREEDOM IN TURKEY

That this House is concerned about widespread reports of growing authoritarianism in Turkey, particularly illustrated by, but not restricted to, the state censorship and imprisonment of journalists in Turkey; notes the continued imprisonment since 14 December 2014 of Hidayet Karaca who is the chief executive of a Turkish television network of channels, and the arrest of 20 journalists in a series of dawn raids in Turkey in mid-December 2014, including Ekrem Dumanli, who is the editor-in-chief of Turkey's largest circulating newspaper and Sedef Kabas, who is a television presenter facing a prison sentence for posting a tweet about a corruption probe involving high-profile names, and most recently the arrest, charge and remand of investigative journalist Mehmet Baransu; welcomes the statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations that the latest crackdown is against the European values and standards Turkey aspires to be part of; further notes the need for the Turkish authorities to remove travel bans imposed on journalists and to drop all criminal charges against them and release all other journalists behind bars in the country; and further calls on the Government to raise these and other concerns that give rise to a growing sense of authoritarianism in Turkey with their counterparts in Turkey.

EDM 670: DEFENCE OF JOURNALISTS AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

That this House expresses its heartfelt sympathy to the families of those journalists, police and others who were assassinated or injured at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015; notes that this attack took place on press day, thereby increasing the casualty list and the potential damage to press freedom; considers that the perpetrators of this heinous crime must swiftly be brought to justice; further notes the bravery of individuals who work in this field despite many of them coming under attack previously, and that in carrying out their jobs they uphold the invaluable and historical right to free speech and freedom of expression which are both integral elements of democracies; acknowledges the solidarity that is being shown around the world on behalf of the victims and their colleagues in standing together in defence of civil liberties at this time; and offers its support to the NUJ in the UK and the International Federation of Journalists for their work in defending the rights of all journalists to do their job without fear of threats, intimidation and brutal murder.

EDM 375: EAST TIMOR MEDIA ACT

That this House notes that the East Timor (Timor-Leste) Parliament has voted to create a Media Act governing press freedoms; further notes that this bans outlets from employing journalists who have not been approved by a government-funded panel; further notes that it would require all foreign journalists to submit to the approval of this panel before entering the country; recognises that these provisions amount to dramatic restrictions on the freedom of the press in East Timor; further notes that Article 41 of the East Timor Constitution explicitly guarantees freedom of the press; further notes that the President and Court of Appeal of East Timor have both found the law to be unconstitutional; further notes that the Parliament is now required to revise or withdraw the law; therefore condemns this law and supports the call of the National Union of Journalists and International Federation of Journalists for the Government to make representations to East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão stressing the need to respect the right of journalists to freedom of expression guaranteed by East Timorean and international law; and urges the Parliament of East Timor to withdraw the bill immediately.

EDM 585: CLOSURE OF LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

That this House regrets the latest announcement from Trinity Mirror newspapers that approximately 50 editorial and non-editorial jobs will be lost as seven newspapers in the south of England, including the Harrow Observer, Reading Post and Surrey Herald, are to be closed; notes that the proposals will mean that the county of Berkshire will be served by a digital-only model; further notes that the latest closures come on top of the closure of 150 local newspaper titles since the financial crisis of 2008, with many more reducing the frequency of publication or the range of locally-specific news coverage; is concerned about the loss of such assets to local communities and the important democratic function they serve in reporting on public life including local and national election campaigning; welcomes the recent cross-party stakeholder seminar organised by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to consider policy responses; and joins the National Union of Journalists in calling for a short, sharp cross-party and inter-departmental government inquiry into securing a future for the industry, in order to protect the public interest and defend jobs in quality local journalism.

EDM 352: SAFEGUARDING JOURNALISTS AND THEIR SOURCES

That this House is gravely concerned about recent reports that police forces have used powers contained in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to access journalists' sources and materials; notes that unlike requests made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 there is no public record of these requests or their frequency, extent or even the existence of these applications, and there is no judicial oversight or independent process to grant permission to use these powers; further notes and welcomes the Interception of Communications Commissioner's new inquiry that will be asking all chief constables how many applications under RIPA have been granted since 2000 to access journalists' communications, and calls on these findings to be made public; shares the view of Gavin Millar QC that the use of such powers contravenes Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression that enshrine the rights of journalists and news organisations; shares the concern of the National Union of Journalists and other press freedom and privacy campaigners that this constitutes an attack on the press which will make whistleblowers reluctant to speak to journalists and also make it more difficult to report in the public interest; and therefore calls on the Government to take urgent steps to legislate to ensure there are protections for professions whose communications must be subject to strict confidentiality.

EDM 203 DIVERSITY IN THE MEDIA

That this House commends the work of Lenny Henry, who has continuously campaigned for increased diversity in the media; notes that Mr Henry gave evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee during its review of the future of the BBC prior to the Charter Renewal in 2016-17; is disappointed that between 2006 and 2012 the proportion of people working in the media from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds decreased by 30.9 per cent; states that the BBC has a responsibility to ensure that it allocates appropriate funding and support to make sure it is a diverse organisation that is representative of the British population; and calls on the Government and the BBC to accept the recommendations of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to ensure that diversity in the media remains a top priority.

Archive EDMs

EDM 170 IMPRISONMENT OF JOURNALISTS IN EGYPT

EDM 1307 PRIVATE COPYING COPYRIGHT EXCEPTION

EDM 1273  MEDIA PLURALISM

EDM 1160 FUTURE OF BBC THREE

EDM 1088 NEWSQUEST NEWSPAPERS AND LOCAL JOURNALISM

EDM 1021 TERRORISM ACT AND PRESS FREEDOM

EDM 956 AL JAZEERA JOURNALISTS IN DETENTION IN EGYPT

EDM 909 THREATS TO ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ

EDM 886 LIVERPOOL POST NEWSPAPER

EDM 844 BANNING OF JOURNALISTS FROM FOOTBALL GROUNDS

EDM 795 DEFENCE OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND THE PROSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS

EDM 739 FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS

EDM 520 TRANSPARENCY OF LOBBYING, NON-PARTY CAMPAIGNING AND TRADE UNION ADMINISTRATION BILL

EDM 309 ATTACKS ON MEDIA FREEDOMS IN TURKEY

EDM 234 CLOSURE OF PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTER IN GREECE

EDM 211 NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM

EDM 194 INCOME INEQUALITY

EDM 191 IMPORTANCE OF ARTS AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

EDM 183 THREAT OF CLOSURE TO NORTHERN MUSEUMS

EDM 138 DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT FUNDING OF S4C

EDM 126 RESPECT AT WORK IN THE MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

EDM 80 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

EDM 67 VICTIMISATION OF TRADES UNION REPRESENTATIVES IN THE HOME DEPARTMENT

EDM 42 HILLSBOROUGH, ANNE WILLIAMS AND JUSTICE

Tags: , parliamentary group, lobbying, briefings, mps, tucg, legislation, submission, tuc, early day motions, parliament uk, parliament ireland, parliament scotland, assembly northern ireland, assembly wales, government uk, government ireland, government scotland, government wales

Events

June 2017

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